I just love the new Flash Mob trend! The kids in London have done it again.
I am so infuriated! I had tickets for the opening of The Year of Magical Thinking last night. I SO wanted to see Ms. Vanessa Redgrave playing the part of Joan Didion. I just loved the heartbreaking book. I cannot wait to see this production.
Oh it feels SO good to be back. I went straight to Nao Salon, for one of their wonderful Oxygen Lifting & Hydrating Facials. After all I've been through with Constance and Halliburton and such, I also gave myself an Oxygen Decolletage Treatment. I feel like a million!
Dear Readers. Where to start? Where to start, indeed!! It’s been several days since my last entry and for very good reason. Things went from bad to worse in our pilgrimage to save Constance from the hands of her terrorist kidnappers. Finally, representatives from The Halliburton Company and Exxon Mobil showed up in Cadiz. We all met in a suite at the Hotel Playa Victoria. Both of the representatives seemed to be low-level corporate functionaries, sent by the companies as an afterthought. I thought perhaps they were just tired from their long trips to Cadiz, as they seemed so disinterested and officious. Well, imagine my surprise when they pulled out contracts for us to sign, stating that we absolved them of any and all responsibilities inConstance’s kidnapping case.
I was so angry! I asked them if they had any intention of paying the Iraqi people for all of their pain and suffering, as the ransom notes demanded. The foolish men told me that they had no intention of paying any ransom notes, that they had no responsibility to help the Iraqi people, and that if we did NOT sign, their lawyers would draw up lawsuit papers if we spoke negatively about their companies. Oh these evil corporate drones. I mustered all of my gentility and good breeding possible, and kept my mouth shut.
Well, at that moment, Hubert broke down. He started to SOB! The poor, fat old man buried his face in his hands, and “came clean” as it were. The truth is, Constance has not been kidnapped at all. It was a ruse! A ruse, dear readers! The truth is, Hubert and Constance have no more money. They, like so many Americans today, have lived far beyond their means. The house in Palm Beach, the Duplex in Manhattan, the farm in the Hamptons, the trips, Constance’s excessive forays at Harry Winston’s.
I simply assumed that Hubert had invested his inheritance and earnings well, but this is not the case. Hubert and Constance are broke, and they cooked up this “kidnapping” scheme to EXTORT money from Halliburton and Exxon-Mobil (evil companies though they undoubtedly are, nobody really deserves to be extorted!)
Constance is still in Little Cayman, living in an out-of-the-way motor hotel somewhere on the island with some sort of washerwoman who doubles as her maid. She and Hubert will no doubt be brought up on charges by the CIA, or the FBI or some such organization. Who knows? The car is coming at any minute to take Helen and I back to New York, where we belong, and away from this whole stinking mess. How I LONG for the taste of good Chinese takeout! La! A demain, fair readers!
Oh Dearest Readers things are not well. I have finally seen Hubert. He is a wreck of a man. A drunken shipwreck of a man. He looks a good ten years older than I last saw him. He arrived here in Cadiz yesterday from Little Caymen. The authorities there were trying to find some more substantial clues to how the kidnappers managed to get Constance out of her hotel room, and out of the hotel, and off the island with NOBODY seeing anything. I met Hubert for luncheon yesterday, just the two of us in the Hotel Dining Room. He sat there brooding into his waffles, slurping down a gin rickey, and saying over and over again "We haven't been separated since Clinton was in office!" I should think that his Halliburton and Exxon connections, and his Bush connections (he was at Andover with GHWB) would make things move along a little faster. But here we still are, waiting for the boat from Cadiz to Morocco. They say we go tomorrow, but I dread making the trip with Hubert in tow.
Dearest Readers, What trials and tribulations we have endured since landing in Cadiz. The weather is fine, in the low 70’s. We arrived under cover of nightfall, and were immediately met by some kind of substandard automobile. I feared that the luggage would not fit, what with myself, my maid Helen, and our FBI man Mr. Reilly, and the insurance bodyguard Mr. Klampson, filling up the car.
The driver, a suspicious man wearing a Fedora and dark glasses (at night!) was named Paz. He threw our bags into the trunk in the most violent manner, eliciting an angry tirade from Helen. I do hope it wasn’t a mistake to bring her along. She is 82, but she prides herself on having the energy and strength of a 65 year-old. She negotiates Manhattan so well, but she has lived there for 70 years and knows every nook and cranny like the back of her hand. I fear that the unfamiliarity of this place is wearing on her. Mr. Reilly slept the entire ride to the Parador Cadiz.From what I could see, it was an average Parador, and I was hoping for a nice room and clean bath. But when we got to the front desk, we were met by a middle aged Asian woman who was BRUSHING HER HAIR behind the desk. Dear readers, as you know I am a stickler for good grooming, but to brush one’s hair in public, especially by a service person with customers waiting, well that is an egregious assault on one’s sensibilities. After more than 20 strokes, she deigned to approach us. I won’t re-construct the chaotic scene that ensued. Mr. Reilly lost his temper, and the Asian woman lost her temper, and we wer FORCED OUT of the Parador! Mr. Paz, the driver had left, and we we had to face the indignity of waiting a half hour for a cab in a foreign place, unable to go back inside because we knew the hair brushing Dragon Lady would be there. Finally, the cab arrived, and we were taken to the Hotel Playa Victoria.
Unfortunately, there were no sea view suites. At that point, Helen and I couldn’t have cared less. We were taken to our somewhat mouldy suite overlooking the air conditioning unit, and Helen drew me a bath with a generous helping of Olivina Bubble Bath, made from an infusion of hand-pressed olive and grapeseed oils. I luxuriated for almost an hour, giving Helen the time and privacy she needed to unpack and organize everything to her exacting specifications. We both collapsed into bed, and I suffered another night of strange dreams about Constance.
We awoke to Mr. Reilly’s knock at the door. He had received word from the Bush administration informing us that we were “on their radar” as it were. I should hope so! My Aunt Florence was at Smith with Barbara before she dropped out and married Bush 41. The Van der Loops have always been friendly with the Bush family, even if we didn’t particularly agree with their politics. So of course I put in a call to Barbara the minute I learned of Constance’s abduction, hoping that she would get her son on the case.
Helen and I dressed, and went downstairs for breakfast and a morning briefing with Mr. Reilly. The eggs were tolerable, and I also ordered chorizo, which wasn’t a particularly smart idea. Oh well. Mr. Reilly said that we would spend two nights in Cadiz, and then take the boat for Morocco tomorrow, as the terrorist organization has instructed us to do. We haven’t seen hide not hair of Mr. Klampson. I imagine he has his orders from the insurance company to just stick with the Carpathia diamond and guard it with his life.
After breakfast, I asked Mr. Reilly if Exxon/Mobil and Halliburton had been contacted about paying the ransom note, and he said they were “looking into it.” What could that mean? Is it possible that Exxon and Halliburton won’t “pony up” as it were? I have no answers, and nothing more has happened since breakfast. Helen and I have been tyring to conserve our energy. I considered sight-seeing, but we felt that under the circumstances, what fun would it be? Oh, there’s Mr. Reilly knocking on the door now. Hasta luego, dear readers.
Dear Readers, I am now in the jet, circling over the Jerez Airport , some 8 kilometers outside of Cadiz, on my Odyssey to save Constance from the terroriste kidnappers. We sat on the tarmac at Teterborofor THREE hours. I tried to practice my meditation. The ride has been tolerable. The jet is a Falcon 900EX intercontinental It’s spacious as jets go, but the temperature has been fluctuating wildly. One moment hot, stuffy and stifling, and the next like a meat locker. Helen is not amused.
As we were packing, I had enough presence of mind to have Helen phone Champignon, the caterer over on 7th Avenue. Maximo, the manager there, was kind enough to rush a prepared basket over to Teterboro, and it arrived just before takeoff. He put together a lovely hamper. Mesclun salad, their Pollo Adobo, which is a simple roasted half chicken marinated in lemon, garlic, and herbs, and a walnut brownie for desert. Thank Goodness Helen was clever enough to pack two bottles of Veuve Clicquot, which was such a godsend once we were up in the air. A bit of chilled champagne always steadies my nerves, and it went perfectly with the cold chicken.
Once Helen and I got settled into the jet, I had a chance to more intimately make the acquaintance of my FBI man. His name is Mr. O’Reilly, and he seems like a good sort. He’s from Staten Island, father of three, rather portly, graying, and makes a strange sound sucking in air and smacking his lips at the end of every sentence, which tends to grate on one’s nerves, especially when we’re forced to sit in a confined space for an extended period of time.
I managed to sleep, but had awful nightmares about Constance. In one of my dreams, we were schoolgirls back at Vassar. We were sneaking out of the dormitory, (as we were wont to do back in those halcyon days. We’d tuck the dressmaking form under the sheets and shimmy down the drainpipe, and then hitch a ride into Boston, where we’d meet up with Harvard boys.) In the dream, Constance was wearing the costume of Lady MacBeth, and I understood that she had just come from a rehearsal. She shimmied down the drainpipe as I nervously watched from the window. She landed on the ground and ran for the woods,, her Lady MacBeth skirts flowing behind her. Then I shimmied down and ran for the woods, but Constance was nowhere to be found. I panicked, running into thicker and thicker woods, my white gown catching on burrs and thorns. I woke up in quite a state. Helen and Mr. O’Reilly were both asleep, and what a surreal moment that was! the silence punctuated by Helen's intermittent snoring and Mr. Reily's sucking noises which, I discovered, he even makes in his sleep.
Dear Readers, I truly am terrified for Constance. She really is in the thick of the woods now, and it’s not a dream. It’s far too real.
I am writing in a state of shock. The last I heard from my friend Constance, she was on her way to Little Cayman. Today, I was contacted by the FBI. Constance has been kidnapped! Yes, kidnapped. As many of you know, her husband Hubert was on the boards of several companies, including Exxon Mobil and Halliburton. I guess his connections to these companies made Constance an especially attractive victim for the kidnappers, as you can read in the transcript of their ransom note below. This is the shocking part. The terrorist group-- The Hawks of Jondollah Front for Liberation (HJFL) wants ME to transport Constance’s famous Carpathia diamond form New York to Morocco, where I will receive my orders. As I write, my maid Helen is packing my trunks. I will be traveling with a bodyguard from the insurance company, and a member of the FBI. My heart is in my throat. I am too nervous to write more at this time. The HJFL, who is all too aware of Mrs. Van der Loop’s blog, asked that I publish their note below, so here it is. PLEASE pray for Constance! A car is waiting to take us to Teterboro within the hour, from where we will be flying to Fly to Cadiz and then taking the boat across to Morocco, where I will be staying in Rabat. It is there that the HJFL has ordered me to stay until I receive the next orders. I will try to write more from there. Farewell!
Transcript of the HJFL ransom note
To American Fascist Elitist Pigs:
The High prices for crude oil, gasoline and natural gas helped Exxon Mobil Corp. to its highest-ever quarterly profit, $9.92 billion, up 75 percent from the third quarter last year. These profits have come form the blood of thousands of innocent people in the Mid-East. This is only one example of the blind profiteering and colonialism that America is famous for. Furthermore, the Halliburton company holds exclusive military contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Halliburton released its fiscal results for 2005, showing profits rose up from a loss of $1.1 billion in 2004 to net profit of $2.4 billion in 2005. Halliburton's KBR revenue for fourth quarter of 2005 decreased 3 percent to $3 billion. Mrs. Van der Loop, we have abducted your friend Constance, and we will hold her until our demands are met.
1) Bring us her famous Carpathian Diamond which we will split up and sell to help injured and homeless Iraqi children.
2) Exxon Mobil will distribute their $9.92 billion profit in checks to individual Iraqi families who have been bombed, injured, lost their homes, or lost their jobs.
3) The Halliburton Company will also distribute their 3 billion dollar profit that they made on the backs of the Iraqi people, to the same Iraqi bombed, injured, homeless and jobless.
Helen's been cleaning my jewelry all morning with the new new Jeweljet I bought her for Christmas. I'm so glad I chose it over the shoe buffer. That thing looked complicated! But Helen LOVES the JewelJet and I have to say, my jewels have never been sparklier.
I woke up thinking about Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Specifically, that wonderful opening paragraph. "On the pleasant shores of the French Riviera, about half way between Marseilles and the Italian boarder, stands a large proud, rose-colored hotel. Deferential palms cool its flushed facade and before it stretches a short dazzling beach. Lately it has become a summer resort of notable and fashionable people..." If you haven't read Tender is the night, order it now.
Dear Captain Burrito enjoyed last night's jazz post so much that he responded with one of his own favorites. Here it is: Gene Krupa's Drum Boogie (from Ball of Fire, 1941). Isn't Barbara Stanwyck just the bee's knees? I met her once in Palm Beach, we had a highball in the club car on the train returning to Los Angeles. She did love her Singapore Sling! She could have three in the course of a single bridge game.